Meursault and the Sky

So far, throughout Part 1 of The Stranger, Meursault describes the sky above him most often as something that brings him dread. In chapter 1, Meursault states, “The glare from the sun was unbearable” (page 16). Also near the end of Part 1 he mentions, “The sun was the same as it had been the day I buried Maman, and like then, my forehead especially was hurting me…” (page 58). It’s a pattern for Meursault to be bothered by the sun physically, but the sun also reminds him of solemn events such as his mother’s funeral.

Meursault also uses the sky, intentionally or not, to foreshadow another grave event. He describes the sky as having “the same dazzling red glare” (57), and as a result of this glare, “the blazing sand looked red to [him]” (53). He foreshadows how the sand on the beach went from looking red because of the blazing sun to actually becoming red, from both the blood of Masson’s stab wound and the gunshot wounds of the Arab man who was after Raymond. As we continue to read onto Part 2, I’m curious as to how the sky will continue to affect Meursault and if a deeper meaning of the sky will continue to form.

3 thoughts on “Meursault and the Sky

  1. CHRISTOPHER H

    The morning when Meursault buries his mother, he notices that “above the hills that separate Marengo from the sea, the sky was streaked with red”(12). I think this sky also indicates the death through the color red, and it fits in with your interpretations of the quote regarding the time he shot the Arab.

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  2. Calvin R

    I liked how you went in-depth on the meaning behind the imagery. While reading, I sometimes thought that the ongoing description of the sky was to add to Meursault’s pragmatic persona. However, you connected the dots for me, especially the part about the red sky coordinating to events in Part 1.

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  3. Arianna S.

    You brought upon another perspective to me, I never thought to question the analytical side of things, especially the “why” aspect. Before reading ur take on this, I did believe he was selfish and just hungry for the validation of others but now I kind of see him in a new light. He doesn’t do things to please others, I think it’s just easier for him to do what others ask rather than put in his own two cents.

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